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Religious Studies 39, 287-298 © 2008 Cumbeidge Univesity Press (Dot: 1010177S0n94412503008561" "Pete in dhe United Kingsons Norman Kretzmann on Aquinas’s attribution of will and of freedom to create to God JOUN F.WIPPEL, ‘School af Philosophy, The Catholie University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, Washington DC 20004 Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to discuss Norman Kretzmann’s account of ‘Aquinas's discussion of will in God, According to Kretzmann, Aquinas's reasoning seems to leave no place for choice on God's part, since, on Aquinas's account, God is not free not to will Himselt. And so this leads tothe problem about God's willing ‘tings other than Himself, On this, Kretzmann finds serious problems with Thomas's ‘position. Kretzmann argues that Aquinas should have drawn necessitaran, ‘conclusions from his account of divine wil. Moreover, in light of one reading of | De vertate,q 24, a. 3, but one not accepted by the Leonine edition, Kretzmann also ‘maintains that Aquinas practically conceded this necessitarian view of God's ‘creative activity in that text. My purpose wil be, after presenting Kretzmann's presentation and defence of Aquinas's attribution of will to God, to examine critically hs claim that Thomas should have concluded that God Is not free not wo create, and to determine whether a stronger argument can be made in support of Aquinas's Position in ight of his texts In chapter 6 of The Metaphysics of Creation Norman Kretzmann com- ‘ments that the natural theology he has been investigating in Aquinas's Summa Contra Gentiles, | {hereafter SCG}, so far, Le. through ch. 43, has attempted to show that there must be ‘a necessarily unique, absolutely simple being that constitutes the ultimate explanation of everything’ (169). Moreover, this natural theology has attempted to show that this being can be correctly characterized by us in various ways, including our naming it ‘perfectly good” and ‘infinitely powerful’, Kretzmann comments that, at least in his judgement, most philos- ophers would agree that if Aquinas's natural theology has successfully established these points, it has also shown that there is a God. But, he also comments here, most traditional theists would require more than the findings of natural theology which he has just mentioned before they would agree that it has been shown that God exists. 287 Aquinas himself would not necessarily share Kretzmann’s view concerning this, for he seems to think that his proof that a unique self-subsisting being (esse subsistens) exists is a proof for the existence of God (see. for instance, De ente et cessentia, ch. 4). Even so, it must be granted to Kretzmann that Aquinas goes on ‘SCG, 1, ch. 44 to begin arguing for the presence of ‘personifying’ attributes in God. And among these Kretzmann finds Aquinas rightly selecting as the first and most fundamental personifying attribute ‘mind’, or what Thomas will usually refer to as ‘intellect’. In the remainder of his chapter 6, Kretzmann comments ‘on Aquinas's argumentation for the presence of intellect in God as following from divine perfection (already established in ch. 28). Kretzmann very thoroughly analyses one of the arguments from perfection presented in SCG, I, ch. 44 (see 184-196), and includes his own recast version. In doing so, he also exhibits one of the finest characteristics ofthis valuable book ~ careful philosophical analysis of particular arguments. With this completed, Kretzmann moves on in his chapter 7 to consider Aqui rnas's reasons for assigning will to God. He opens this chapter by noting that if the presence of intellect is necessary for personhood, something more than this also seems to be required, namely, will (197). But Kretzmann does not find Thomas basing his attribution of will to God on divine perfection, as he had done in the case of intellect. Kretzmann suggests that this may be because Aquinas’s account of will leaves it ‘looking like an appendage to intellect, not a specific perfection in its own right’ (199) Kreizmann begins by offering some observations about Aquinas's conception of will in general. Thomas regards will as a species of appetitus, a Latin term for which Kretzmann can find no perfect single English term, and for which he will simply use the term ‘appetite’ as a rough equivalent (199-200). While ‘ wanting” might capture Aquinas's meaning when he refers to certain kinds of appetite (in rational and non-rational animals), even this will apply only if one realizes that * wanting’ something is compatible with ‘having’ it. But for Thomas (SCG, I, ch. 37) appetite is much more general than this. Indeed, following Aristotle (Ethics, I, ch. 9 [1094a 2-3)), Thomas holds that the good is that which all things ‘have an appetite for’. As Kretzmann points out, Aquinas's defence of a universal appetite for good follows from the transcendental charac- ter of goodness (200). As Kretzmann also points out, because Thomas views a thing’s goodness as its capacity to ‘elicit appetite’, it operates as a final cause (con), Thomas applies this notion of appetite at three distinct levels - natural appetite (as realized in things that lack cognition), sensitive appetite (as realized in entities equipped with sensory cognition), and intellective or rational appetite (will). See SCG Il, ch. 47. As Thomas explains in Summa Theologiae la, 59, 1, {hereafter S71 regarding the last mentioned case, intellectual beings are inclined toward goodness itself considered universally. And this inclination is known as will Gods wil and freedom to create With this background in mind, Kretzmann turns to Aquinas's particular argu- ‘ments for attributing will to God. In SCG, I, ch. 72, Thomas presents eight argu- ‘ments to support this, seven of which, Kretzmann points out, make use in some way of God's intellectivity. Of these he notes that the first does so most simply and directly. But he expresses some concern about the validity of its second, sentence: ‘For since an intellectively cognized good is the proper object of vol- {tion (voluntatis), an intellectively cognized good, considered just as such, must be what is willed."* From this, the argument continues, something is an object, of intellect in relation to that which knows intellectually. Therefore, that which thas intellectual knowledge of what is good must itself be volitional. And since God hhas intellectual knowledge of what is good, God is volitional. Kretzmann’s cor ‘cern is that while this may show that intellection is a necessary condition for be- {ing volitional, it may not show that it is a sufficient condition, But after fuller examination of Aquinas’s account of the nature of will, Kretemann expresses himself satisfied by the argument. Kretzmann then singles out the third argument from this same ch. 72 which, fas he points out, brings out more clearly Aquinas's view that the universal appetite for good is a fundamental, all pervasive feature of reality, which mani- fests itself differently in accord with the kind or level of being under consider- jon. As Kretzmann sums up this point (207), upon the recognition of this view “intellect can be seen to be not only necessary but also sufficient for will, ‘when will is considered initially as simply the intellective form of the universal appetite’ Kretzmann notes that only one of the eight arguments offered in ch. 72 for the presence of will in God is completely free from considerations of intellect. After mentioning the simplicity and strength of this argument, Kretzmann examines it because it also serves to raise an important issue concerning volition in general and God's will in particular (208). In Kretzmann’s translation: What is fee is what is by reason of itself Liberum est quod su causa es, and so what 4s free has the essential nature of what is per se. Now wil i what primarily has freedom ‘where acting is concemed, fr a person is sad to perform feely an action he performs to the extent ro which he performs it voluntatily. Therefore, the first agent, with whom acting pr seis associated most especialy is one to whom it s most especially suited tact through will, Kremann comments that this argument takes as granted the first agent's (God's) freedom in the order of being, or His metaphysical independence, and that this entails that He act voluntarily, But Kretzmann is concerned about its identification of acting freely and acting voluntarily (see the second sentence). He remarks that in light of Thomas's account of will as a faculty whose nature is that of an essential inclination toward a fixed ultimate end - goodness itself con- sidered universally ~ and his view that particular volitions of subordinate ends are “informed by what intellect presents to will as good for progressing toward the 289